Agen Old Town
Visitor's Rating: (1 out of 4/Number of Votes:2)
Agen's old part - that covers the center of the city - has several historical jewels.
One of them is the former church of Notre Dame des Jacobins. The old Dominican (or Jacobin) convent was built in 1249 and is one of the few, still in existence, examples of the Dominican architecture style in France.
In 1254 the convent was extended due to the generosity of the local landlord Alphonse de Poitiers - brother of King Louis IX also known as Saint Louis.
This somber convent was in the 13th century the witness of major events in the 13th and the 14th century. It is here that in 1279 the ceremony of handing over the Agen region by the French King Philip III le Hardi to the English King Edward I takes place and in 1354 it is still in this convent that Gaston Phoebus Count of Foix acknowledges as his sovereign Edward of Woodstock, the Black Prince.
In 1585 during the religious wars Marguerite de Valois, Countess of Agen, an ultra-catholic, transforms the convent in a fortified place to be used in her war against... her husband the Protestant Henri of Navarre!
During the French Revolution the buildings of the religious community are used as stable and prison and later sold and destroyed. Only the church is preserved and returned to the worshipers in 1807.
Nowadays the church is used as an exhibition place.
Another "jewel" in the crown of the old Agen is the building complex that houses now the Agen Fine Arts Museum.
The complex is constituted of 4 former private "hôtels" dating from the 15th and 16th centuries: Hôtel d'Estrade, Hôtel Monluc, Hôtel Vaurs and Hôtel Vergès.
Another point of interest of Agen is its Saint Caprais Cathedral.
The cathedral was built in the 11th and 12th centuries but suffered over centuries much devastation due to wars, pillages and fires. The most recent major restoration work took place in the 19th century and gave the cathedral the shape we can see today. It is from that time that the bell tower, the painted glass windows and the pipe organ date.
We went to Agen last summer. The town is not so nice but there are many interesting sites around it in the Lot-et-Garonne deparmtment. For example the valley of Lot is the most "peasible" place on earth :-))
I should have written departament !!!
rather simple cathedral. Nothing outstanding
I meant the Agen cathedral.
Not the most beautiful town on earth
PAys de Bibi